Final Paper - Rough Draft

Final Paper - Rough Draft - John Hebson ECON 4999 Final...

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John Hebson ECON 4999 12/11/09 Final Paper Water is by far the world’s most precious resource . Nothing cultivates life more brilliantly than water . It has been the subject of many disputes throughout history and will continue to be in the near future . This is especially true for arid regions throughout the world such as in Africa, the Middle East and the American South West . In all of those regions there is a significant source of flowing fresh water . The Nile runs through the North African desert . The Indus, Tigris, and Euphrates run through the Middle East . In the American South West, We have the Colorado River . It runs for over thirteen hundred miles, through seven different states and supplies them with more than four trillion gallons of water annually . The allotment of this vast amount of water has been a topic of much dispute for over one hundred years . One of the most important topics of within the umbrella of Colorado’s water allotment is the practice of water transfers from one party to another . This is where the majorities of inefficiencies take place and also where they could be corrected . The West has gone through vast amounts of change over the past century and the old system of dispersing and transferring water is in great need of change . Throughout the course of this paper, I will show how the system is very inefficient and then propose and analyze a few different ways in which we can improve the dated legislation .
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system that is so greatly inefficient was allowed to be created, one must first understand a bit of history . In the frontier days when the west was being settled, people held a first come first serve attitude towards their right to the waters of the Colorado River . This attitude played a very large part in Colorado Compact which was the formal agreement on the allocation of water between the seven states the river flows through . It was signed in 1922 and has not had any great changes made to it, especially in the area involving the transfer of water, since its creation . The Compact set water allocations as outlined in the table to the right . These numbers were based on how much water that particular states environment provides to the river, population, who was there first, as well as many other political pressures . There are many problems with this allocation, the foremost being that the total flow of the river was inaccurate . The flow measurement was taken over a number of particularly wet seasons . The actual average flow of the river is only about 13 .2 million acre feet which shows how much we are overusing the precious resource . The compact also has many other inefficient terms and conditions that need to be reformed . Why do we Need Change?
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Final Paper - Rough Draft - John Hebson ECON 4999 Final...

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